When Tom Haynie resigned at the end of the 1960 season to take a teaching and coaching position in Honolulu, Al Masters immediately made another of his wise decisions, appointing Jim Gaughran, who had been a swimming and water polo star under Haynie for three years in 1952-54.
Late in the evening of Saturday, March 25, 1967, a dream, a plan and many hours of hard work over a period of more than a quarter of a century culminated in an NCAA Swimming Championship for Stanford at the pool of Michigan State University in East Lansing. The Indians of Jim Gaughran had just scored 275 points to beat out USC with 260 and end years of frustration, gaining sweet revenge on the Trojans for two events which had occurred earlier in the season.
On February 18, in Encina Pools, Southern California had come from behind in the final event of the afternoon, the 400 yard freestyle relay, to tie Stanford 52-52, in one of the greatest dual meets ever held; on March 4, in Eugene, Oregon, those same pesky Trojans had edged Stanford 265 to 213 for the AAWU championship. But this time, Gaughran's staunch men were not to be denied.
Practically every man on the squad came through in fine style, but leaders in the point scoring were the great Greg Buckingham, Dick Roth and Mike Wall. Buck won the 200 and 500 freestyle races, placed second in the 1650 yard event and swam anchor lap on the winning 800 freestyle relay. His marks of 1:41.46 and 4:37.16 in the 200 and 500, respectively, were both NCAA and American records. Buck had to come from behind in the last lap of the 800 relay and the result was another NCAA and American record of 6:54.65. Buckingham, who teamed with Roth, Pete Siebert and Mike Wall, swam his lap in 1:40.80. Roth nearly duplicated Buck's brilliant performance with first places in the 200 and 400 individual medley, a sixth in the 200 yard backstroke and a lap on the winning 800 free relay.
Wall was another busy young man who, in addition to swimming a lap on the record breaking 800 free relay, placed third in the 1650 free, fifth in the 200 free and sixth in the 500 free. Buckingham, Roth and Wall each swam seven or eight races during the three days of the meet. Pete Siebert was another important contributor with a third and fifth in the 200 and 400 individual medleys, respectively, and a lap on the 800 free relay.
Captain Jim Laney and Luis Nicoloa, the Argentine pixie, weren't exactly loafing either. Jim anchored both the 400 freestyle and 400 medley relays, the former to another double record-breaking victory in 3:05.00, and the latter to a solid fourth place. In the 400, Laney held off Don Schollander and Don Havens, both national champions and two of the greatest swimmers in world. The skipper also finished ninth in the 100 freestyle and thirteenth in the 100 butterfly. Nicolao teamed with Laney, Bill Meyer and Morgan Manning in the 400 free relay, placed second in the 100 butterfly, sixth in the 200 butterfly and swam a lap on the 400 medley relay which finished fourth. Meyer, who also placed seventh in the 100 freestyle, turned in the fastest lap of the 400 free relay-a fantastic 45.8. Teaming with Nicolao and Laney in the 400 medley relay were Bob Momsen and Bill Kee. Momsen also placed second in the 200 and ninth in the 100 breaststroke events, respectively.
The large and appreciative crowd gave the Indians a big hand on winning the meet and then was completely flabbergasted by a bit of apparent legerdemain which took place within seconds after the final results showed Stanford to be the winner. Every member of the Indian squad, plus Gaughran, Shoemaker and followers, suddenly appeared in white T-shirts bearing the inscription, "Stanford U 1967 NCAA Swimming Champions." It really wasn't magic at all, but the contribution of Bill Lee, the Indians' number one aquatic buff, who had been so sure of the outcome that he had invested in the shirts. That's confidence and Lee, an advertising and equipment executive, grinned like a Cheshire cat as he admired his handiwork.
1967 NCAA Team Results
1. Stanford 275 2. USC 260 3. Indiana 249 4. Michigan 184 5. UCLA 148 6. Yale 135 7. SMU 127 8. Michigan State 115 9. North Carolina 55 10. Minnesota 42
1967 Individual NCAA Champions
Finals Place 200 Free Greg Buckingham 1:41.46 1st 500 Free Greg Buckingham 4:37.16 1st 200 IM Dick Roth 1:56.09 1st 400 IM Dick Roth 4:12.11 1st 400 Free Relay Luis Nicolao, Bill Meyer, 3:05.00 1st Morgan Manning, Jim Laney 800 Freestyle Relay Dick Roth, Mike Wall, 6:54.65 1st Pete Siebert, Greg Buckingham